Greens Forced to Confront Economic Reality

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Greens Forced to Confront Economic Reality

Given the dynamism and complexity of the Earth's climate, a great deal of highly reliable evidence is needed to confidently establish that human activity has dramatically altered natural climate patterns.  Yet, there appears to be no shortage of people who subscribe to that view, and who insist that mankind must sacrifice economic progress in order to address this concern.  Why would that be? 

For many, the explanation is simple:  Resolving the perceived problem of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is actually good for their careers and their businesses.  For those people, the message is clear:  Any time you can frighten people sufficiently, you can sell them something to alleviate their fears. 

So it comes as no surprise that, as the Trends editors predicted in 2004, the green movement has been largely co-opted by business in the pursuit of profits.  Manufacturers like General Electric and venture capital firms like Kleiner Perkins stand to make billions should the fear-mongering result in new and aggressive government policies.  Wall Street traders, and even electric utilities, dream of making fortunes trading carbon-offsets. 

Al Gore, and other advocates of the AGW theory, have positioned themselves to make fortunes off a shift to "green technology."  That, more than any empirical evidence, seems to explain why firms have jumped on the climate change bandwagon.  They hope to "make a killing" on alternative energy technologies and carbon trading schemes.

But, as the Trends editors also predicted, in 2007, now that the true costs are becoming obvious to voters, they are demanding "hard evidence."   Amazingly, just as the public started demanding that "hard evidence," a British whistleblower released incriminating e-mails from the University of East Anglia strongly suggesting that much of the alleged "scientific evidence" about AGW was either misinterpreted, exaggerated, or simply fraudulent.1

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Yet, even before this, a growing number of skeptical investigators have voiced suspicions about the methodology and motivation underpinning modern climate science.  In 2001, a book called The Skeptical Environmentalist2 by Bjørn Lomborg was published showing that the scientific information we had at that time did not support the most popular claims concerning climate change and global warming. 

As an adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School, Lomborg had served as director of the Environmental Assessment Institute in Copenhagen...

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